New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and Rowan University Founding Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Matthew Edson have announced the NJDA will assist the Rowan program. The veterinary school is the first in the state and is scheduled to begin classes in the fall of 2025.
“There is high demand for well-trained veterinarians, especially here in New Jersey,” Fisher said. “We are excited to have this collaboration with Rowan University as it embarks on its journey of excellence and innovation.”
The shortage of veterinarians has been expected for quite some time. In 2006, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges predicted a shortage of 15,000 veterinarians in the United States within two decades. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 57 percent of households in New Jersey own a pet or large animal livestock.
Rowan is scheduled to begin accepting applications with 70 students in the fall of 2025, eventually reaching 90 students per class. There are 33 accredited veterinary schools in the U.S., but only five on the East Coast. The primary goals of the NJDA assistance are to have the Rowan veterinary students and faculty access the NJDA’s Animal Health Diagnostic Lab and to make the NJDA’s lab services available to the Rowan veterinary school to protect and promote animal and public health.
“We’re excited to partner with the NJDA to train the next generation of veterinarians,” Dr. Edson said. “Access to their state-of-the art animal health diagnostic laboratory will be an invaluable educational resource for our student doctors and we appreciate the opportunity to collaborate.”
Rowan University’s School of Veterinary Medicine is currently seeking accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education. Once accredited, the school will offer New Jersey’s first Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, as well as related degree programs designed to shape the future of veterinary medicine and animal health care in the state.
“This is an exciting time for veterinary medicine in our state,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Amar Patil, who is the NJDA Director of the Division of Animal Health. “That we will play a role in training the first veterinary school graduates in New Jersey is one way we can help accelerate filling the veterinary void.”
For more information about the Rowan University School of Veterinary Medicine go to svm.rowan.edu/. For more information about the NJDA Animal Health Diagnostic Lab go to nj.gov/agriculture/ahdl/.